1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.
- You like the wilderness
- You read about nature
- You stop to look at bugs
- You categorize things
- You read about explorers
- You collect things
- You enjoy studying plant parts
- You notice characteristics
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.
- You’d like to be a drummer
- You can read music
- You criticize a new song when others just accept it
- You enjoy a few types of music
- You can figure out how to play a tune on an instrument
- You’ve considered writing songs
- You notice patterns
- You remember old songs
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.
- You enjoy solving mysteries
- You can solve logic problems
- You’re good at math
- You like to put things in their places
- You’ve always been interested in scientific discoveries
- You can be bossy
- You like to figure out how things work
- You’re good with computers
4. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)
Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.
- You sometimes feel like a mind reader
- You hate injustice
- You’re a good listener
- You see through people who aren’t being honest
- You know how others feel
- You often lend a shoulder
- You find it hard to be mean
- You enjoy deep conversations
5. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
- You’re good at sports
- You can dance well
- You talk with your hands
- You’re interested in acting
- You like to build things
- You clown around in class
- You have great balance
- You can throw a ball accurately
6. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
- You are a good writer
- You’re good with crossword puzzles
- People say you “have a way with words”
- You tell good stories
- People say you’re funny
- You like to debate or argue
- You explain things well
- You have a great vocabulary or enjoy learning new words and their origins
7. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)
Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
- You think a lot
- People think you’re dreamy
- You can analyze dreams
- You are self-critical
- You second guess yourself
- You really get into a good book
- You can break down complicated ideas
- You judge people
8. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.
- You can put puzzles together
- You appreciate art or photography
- You prefer geometry over algebra
- You study with charts and pictures
- You can find your way with a map
- You make outlines when you write a paper
- You doodle or draw
- You notice details
Best features. Shapely legs, a trim waist and head-turning hips give your body feminine appeal.
Common pitfalls. “You have a slender upper body, so your instinct might be to show it off with slim-fitting shirts,” says Saboura. Resist the urge! Tiny tops throw off your body’s balance, making your bottom look bigger than it is.
When you think about tops, think layers. Creating balance for your shape is all about filling out your upper half. “A cardigan is your best friend,” says Saboura, because it adds lightweight volume. For cooler weather, try cropped jackets that stop at the waist (channel Jackie O. for inspiration). Don’t be afraid to show a little skin, too. Three-quarter sleeves, wide scoop necks, and one-shoulder tops all look great on you.
Boot-cut pants are best for your body. “The slight flare helps to balance out curves, especially if you wear them with a heel to give your legs a little length,” Saboura suggests. Go for dark, medium-rise jeans with simple stitching and pockets in the back. For skirts and dresses, try a classic A-line cut that falls softly over your curves and highlights your trim waist. Avoid high waists and pleated skirts—they’re made for filling out figureless femmes.
Fabrics and Flair
Draw the eye up with bright colors and embellished tops. Saboura says, “Try a boatneck shirt with horizontal stripes,” or a cardigan with rosette detailing. Chunky jewelry can work well for you too, adding interest up top. Prints and patterns are fine for your lower body, but aim for darker colors.
Circle Body Shape
Best features. Slender legs, slight shoulders and a trim booty give your figure a graceful allure.
Common pitfalls. “Circles often try to cover up their bodies,” says Saboura, “but that’s the opposite of what they should do.” Showing off your neckline, forearms and a little leg (just a little!) looks elegantly classy—not to mention younger, longer and leaner.
Your body is soft and round, so your goal is to add structure, especially on top. Try a structured jacket (like a blazer). “Draw angles and lines across your body with wrap dresses or asymmetrical hemlines,” suggests Saboura. Draped fabrics, cowl necks and flutter sleeves look great on you, too, for a feminine flourish. If you feel like you need more support, layer with a dressy tank top that has a bit of lycra.
You’ve got great legs, so show ’em off! A slim, straight leg or bootcut is perfect for you, and wearing a heel “takes off a little weight and shows off your legs,” says Saboura. Dresses with ruching or gathering hide the tummy, creating an hourglass effect.
Fabrics and Flair
Prints and patterns look great on you, especially on your upper body. Go for large floral or geometric prints to flatter your figure—small prints won’t do the trick. Stick to weighty fabrics (like heavy cotton, wool or muslin) that have more natural structure.
Hourglass Body Shape
Best features. Big breasts, a slim waist and curvy hips make your figure the crème de la crème of feminine beauty.
Common pitfalls. Your figure has natural allure, so you may be tempted to give too much away. “Everyone is trying to mimic the hourglass curve, but you’ve already got it,” Saboura says. “Show off a bit, but don’t give away all your curves.”
Simplicity is key for you. Look for clean, simple tops with scoop necklines and three-quarter sleeves. Avoid layering, and look for waist belts that help define your tiny tummy. You look best in princess seams—long, shapely seams that gather in at the waist and flare out again at the hips—that have a smooth, snug look and show off your contours. Fitted jackets look great on you, but “they need to be really well tailored,” says Saboura. “Choose jackets that nip in at the waist and flair out, like a poplin jacket.”
You look best in skirts that stop at or below the knee, not above it. Pencil skirts look great on you, as do bootleg pants and skinny jeans. Choose pants or skirts that follow your natural curve, and go for fitted options (but not too tight). “Embrace your silhouette,” says Saboura. “The sexiness is in seeing the curve, not giving it all away.”
Fabrics and Flair
Keep it simple with solid colors. Prints can disguise your figure, rather than highlight it. The same goes for fabrics. Avoid extra fabric and draping, and opt for a bit of stretch. Color looks great on your body type, but monochromatic outfits look best (think: Mad Men’s Joan Holloway).
Best features. Slender and often athletic, your build is easy to outfit.
Common pitfalls. You have a naturally sporty look, so you may tend to choose simple, fitted cuts. “That can actually make you look boxy,” Saboura says. Instead, you want to use clothing to soften your body and create curves.
When choosing a shirt, “avoid adding more square or straight lines,” Saboura advises. Instead, complement your natural lines with asymmetrical or rounded hemlines, and ruffle details. Halters look great on you, as do boatnecks and off-the-shoulder shirts. Since your body is naturally athletic, you’ll look more feminine in tank tops with a thin, delicate strap. The same goes for jackets and blazers: Look for soft shoulders and steer clear of boxy, cropped jackets.
High-waist pants look fantastic on you, as do wide leg trousers. Both add curves and volume to your lower body. “If you want to embrace a more masculine shape with a boyfriend jean, go for it,” says Saboura. “But put some drape and movement on top.” For a ladylike look, wrap dresses look great on you, since they draw angles and lines across the body.
Fabrics and Flair
Use fabric to add softness and femininity to your look. Opt for lace, silk or lightweight fabrics, especially ones with natural draping. Embellished shirts and ruffle details add softness and give your body a bit more, well, body.
Inverted Triangle Body Shape
Best features. A tapered torso, trim waist and killer legs make you look confident and fit.
Common pitfalls. Your legs are typically well-sculpted, so your instinct may be to show them off with fitted leggings. That works if you’re wearing a long top (below your booty), but in general, you want to add volume to your lower half.
You look great in cowl necks and deep V-necks that help minimize a stronger upper body. Go for simple, fuss-free shirts (no ruffles!). For feminine flair, tops with gently draped fabric or flutter sleeves add movement and softness. Embrace your inner flapper, and rock a drop-waist dress—a look that few can pull off!